Welcome to Honey Bend
Posted by Cassondra Murray Feb 20 2015, 12:30 am
When I was a little girl, my grandmother, MotherGrant, had a huge garden. She and DaddyMike grew all the veggies they’d use for the entire year.
But that veggie garden was about survival. It was not about joy.
In the afternoons, after the other garden work was done, MotherGrant would spend a little time every day on her knees, on the outside of the garden fence, weeding and tending her flowers.
MotherGrant’s flower garden ran all the way down the edge of the veggie garden, in a glorious pile of colors and shapes, from the humble violet to the bawdy whore-of-a blossom on the Celosia cristata. That’s a picture of one over there on the left.
She called them Princey Feathers. Her name fit, don’t you think?
I was in the garden with MotherGrant by the time I could walk, and though she had no science, she had something better. She had a gift. She didn’t know the Latin names of the flowers, but the plants didn’t care about that.
She loved the flowers, and they loved her back.
She taught me to love them too, and years later, long after MotherGrant had gone to tend God’s garden, I went to graduate school to study horticulture, and then I became a grower in a big commercial greenhouse.
Flash forward a few years. I was doing something different for a living, but I’d started writing fiction on the side. I was working on a dark romantic suspense series when Del walked walked into my mind.
I figured out right away that she was persistent, because any time I stared out the window at the field in front of my house, that field would fade away and I’d end up in Del’s greenhouse. She was a greenhouse grower, just like I’d been, and while she was innocently puttering around with pots of flowers, she’d swipe a dirt-covered arm across her forehead and start in, telling me how she had this story, and she wanted me to tell it.
Every time I went outside to dig in the dirt in my own garden, Del went with me, pestering me.
Del grew up in a small town in southern Kentucky, not too far from where I live right now.
That town is Honey Bend.
I wrote the start of Del’s story long ago, just to get her to shut up. But then I put it away and ignored it for the longest time. But I never forgot about it.
I told y’all in my blog on February 4th about my growing pains, going from dark romantic suspense Goth Chick to writing small town romance, and I promised to show you the cover today.
Brilliant cover artist Lyndsey Lewellen at LLewellen Designs got just the right feel for Del’s story, Grow On Me Honey.
That’s Del, with her hero, Erik.
Sometimes I wonder if MotherGrant wasn’t the one nudging me all this time, telling me I should write Del’s story, because it was a part of who I am.
Every time I’ve typed a blog over the past eight years, I’ve felt like I was sitting down on the porch with friends, telling stories, snapping beans, and inviting y’all to come around and “set a spell.”
Writing about the town of Honey Bend feels just like that. I can’t wait to tell you more about Del and Erik, but for right now, I’ll leave you with the cover, and hope you’ll feel as welcome in Honey Bend as I do.
In the meantime, tell me, Bandits and Buddies..
If you read small-town romance, what is it that draws you to the genre?
Is there someone from your past who played a role in making you who you are now?
Or is there something from your childhood that’s a part of who you are now, the way MotherGrant’s flower garden became a part of me?
If you want to know when their story comes out, you can follow me on facebook at Author Cassondra Murray.
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I’ll give away one more combo this month to a random commenter—a grab bag of two random books and a piece of swag from my conference stash!
Posted in Cassondra Murray, Cassondra's blogs, Grow On Me Honey, Honey Bend series, small town romance, welcometohoneybend.com